Most of us have a somewhat decent internal clock that helps us guesstimate when it's time to wake up or time to feed the dogs, but how well can we count exactly five seconds without looking at the clock?
Bandai Gadget is a sub-brand of the great toymaker Bandai that exclusively makes toys that satiate random human urges. They've also invented fun things like the gun alarm clock, the electronic bubble wrap toy, and the digital poking box, but I think their best product to date is the Five Second Stadium Stopwatch.
The game is really simple: press the button once, the counter resets to 0:00 and the voice says: Ready? Press it again and the screen goes blank. Once you've counted five seconds in your head, hit the button again and the counter will display how many seconds have actually passed. And depending on how close you are, he'll say encouraging things like: You can do it! or yell at you: What the hell are you doing? (Nani yattenno yo!)
I have spent countless give-or-take-five-seconds with this thing, and have gotten as close to 4.99 and 5.01. But as this video taken just a few hours ago proves, exacting time is apparently not something I have gotten better at over time. It's a strange thing. Watching the video, I find myself thinking: D'oh! That's way past five seconds! or, Now! or, Yikes too early! But when I was actually doing it, I was honestly giving it my best shot.
Since this is conveniently pocket-sized and super addictive without being hard to comprehend, I've brought it with me everywhere--to conferences, parties, volleyball games--and people have invariably gotten addicted to it. I even had one stolen from me at ETech.
Anyone in the US can buy it on Gizmine.com for $20, but be warned: it is highly addictive and a total waste of time. But then again, who doesn't have five seconds to spare for useless entertainment?
About Lisa Katayama
I'm a contributing editor here at Boing Boing. I also have a blog (TokyoMango), a book (Urawaza), and I freelance for Wired, Make, the NY Times Magazine, PRI's Studio360, etc. I'm @tokyomango on Twitter.